TITLE: Limited Power
DATE: Sept. 29, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: John 11:25-26 - ESV - Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Although I’ve never made a thorough study, it appears to me every time and every nation has heroes.
It there is nobody worthy of the title, then the poets or troubadours invent them., If they are less than perfect, the writers put a little elbow grease on their image and shine it up. Sometimes, at last in our minds, heroes become so big and so powerful they can do anything.
That can be dangerous, especially if we begin to ascribe godly attributes to sinful humans.
That certainly was the case for a general in Napoleon’s army. This was a man who had been devotedly, and enthusiastically, attached to Bonaparte through many campaigns. Now he had been mortally wounded. As he desperately clung to the last threads of life, he requested that his chief come to him.
Napoleon arrived at the deathbed.
Having seen the emperor defeat many enemies, the wounded man thought this would be no different. He earnestly pleaded with his leader to save his life. Having examined the extent of the man’s wounds, Napoleon sadly shook his head and, without a word of comfort, turned away from his old friend.
But, as the tent’s curtain door shut behind Napoleon, the dying friend was heard to scream out, 'Save me, Napoleon! Save me!'" In the hour of death, that soldier discovered what every human being will eventually discover: only God is Ruler over life and death.
That may sound like a simple enough concept for anybody to grasp, but apparently that is not the case. Even though the mortality rate for humanity is almost 100% (don’t forget Elijah and Enoch), multitudes still do not put their trust for eternity in God. They are astounded when a young person passes away. They are sadly shocked when someone close to them breathes their last.
Even though the end was obviously coming; even though the doctors, like Napoleon, had shaken their heads and said, “There is nothing we can do”, they still do not turn to the Lord. God would have them know that an open grave need not be the final way we remember our loved ones.
So that we might know there is a God of the living and the dead, Jesus came into this world.
His death and resurrection show, to anyone who will take a serious look, that death is not the end of life, the grave does not have, for those who acknowledge Jesus as Lord, the final victory.
That’s why, when Jesus says to us, “I am Ruler over life and death, “We can say, “Thank God, it is so.”
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that You raised up the daughter of Jairus, Lazarus, and the young man of Nain. I have seen that the grave is less than an inconvenience to You. Make me see, and trust in Your power when I must say an earthly good-by to a loved one. In Your Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html